Meet Andreina. Originally from Venezuela, she lived in Spain while studying for her MBA - and ultimately, decided to settle in Canada with her husband in March 2016.
We asked Andreina about her journey as a newcomer to Canada, and how her experience at NYCH has helped her achieve her goals. This is what she had to say:
Q: What were some of the challenges you faced upon arriving in Canada? What were your goals?
A: We came with a lot of dreams but also with fears, because we had never been to Canada before. We didn't know if we were going to like the country, or the weather, and we had savings for few months. Also, we had impressive CVs, but no Canadian experience and we had to improve our English. Our challenge was to find a job related to our professional experience, so we had to adapt our CVs according to the positions we were applying, as well as prepare ourselves for the interviews.
Q: How did you hear about NYCH? Which programs were you involved in?
We had to improve our English level so we read on the Internet that we should take the CLB test before applying to free ESL courses for newcomers. So, we went to YMCA at the Finch location, and then we met with a representative who recommended NYCH services for newcomers.
The following week, we met with Lucy from NYCH and she explained to us all of the options we had available. We decided to enroll in the NYCH Employment Success Workshop with Annie and we went to the English Conversation Circle at North York Central Library. The next month, we also enrolled in the ELT Sales and Marketing Program, as well as the OSLT Entrepreneurship and Marketing Program at George Brown College - following the recommendations we received from Lucy. We were incredibly busy but definitely committed to achieve our goals.
Q: What did you gain through NYCH programs? Which achievements are you most proud of?
NYCH programs gave us an orientation and the confidence we needed to go forward. They worked along with us on the path we had to follow. Particularly, the NYCH Employment Success Workshop gave us the structure we were looking for to start our job applications. Also, the NYCH English Conversation Circle, as well as the ELT and OSLT courses recommended by NYCH, were key factors to gain confidence with our English level.
In all of these programs, we could meet other newcomers with similar experiences and goals; we learned how we could transfer our previous professional experience, studies and skills; and we understood the expectations for CVs, cover letters and job interviews to finally get our first jobs in Canada.
Now, we just had our first anniversary in Canada and we are very proud of what we have achieved so far. All of the support we received and all of the effort we did was worthwhile. In just 6 months after we came to Canada, both of us were working in our professional areas. My husband started working as Business Analyst and I got a job as Digital Account Coordinator.
Q: Is there a person/program/experience at NYCH that stands out in your memory?
A: We are very grateful for Lucy Santos and Annie Sun from NYCH. They gave us a lot of ideas and recommendations, as well as the next steps we should follow - and it helped to build the confidence we were needing.
Q: What are your plans/goals for the future?
A: We want to gain more experience and continue improving our English. But now, we are sure that our future is here in Canada.
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